Draft National River Ganga Bill, 2018

  1. The Draft National River Ganga Bill, 2018 proposes to create a management structure that will supervise the health of River Ganga.
  2. The bill provides for a number of restrictions to ensure the “uninterrupted, ecological flow” of the river. These are: a) ban the construction of jetties, ports or “permanent hydraulic structures” in the Ganga, unless permitted by the National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was declared as an Authority in 2016. It was provided with powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  3. The bill provides for the constitution of Ganga Protection Corps as an armed forces of the union. The Ganga Protection Corps is proposed to be empowered to arrest or caused to be arrested for offence under the Act, and to take the person to the nearest police station. 
  4. Cognizable offences marked in the draft Bill include: a) construction activities causing obstruction in the river; b) withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and its tributaries; c) commercial fishing or aqua culture in the river and its tributaries; d) discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river.